Health ministry forging ahead with family doctor teams to boost care & reduce congestion

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BURIRAM, 14 July 2015 – The Ministry of Public Health is forging ahead with its ‘family doctor teams’ in hopes of allowing people to better care for their own health and reduce congestion at central hospitals.

Dr. Somsak Chunharas, the deputy minister of public health, on Monday inspected the operation of Buriram Central Hospital, which serves an average of 1,600 patients per day and is currently having difficulty coping with the number of inpatients.

The hospital’s new 9-storey building for accident victims and heart disease patients, as well as its new building for male surgery and monks, will increase the patient capacity once they are completed. However, Dr. Somsak said increasing the number of beds or hospital building was only one of the methods for accommodating patients. He indicated that the ministry was placing emphasis on the ‘family doctor teams’ that involve the use of health personnel from community hospitals and sub-district hospitals to provide local residents with healthcare knowledge and to pro-actively diagnose and treat illnesses by making visits to villages and communities. According to Dr. Somsak, this method would spare slightly ill people the effort of having to travel to large hospitals and would also reduce congestion at the establishments.

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